Why don’t big biz bosses look on paying living wages as one of the challenges of being in business? You know, instead of something to carp about. Why can’t our corporate commanders set living wages as a high level objective, apply the needed thought, creativity and resources and, well, just do it? Or, is it that they just don’t like the idea of living wages to begin with?
Australia’s minimum wage has risen by an amount just ahead of inflation and so is now $18.29 per hour. Living wage territory, just about.
One hundred Australian dollars is worth one hundred Canadian dollars and six cents, by way of comparison. This feature discusses the increase from several angles, most of which will be familiar to Canadians.
Nurses and physicians have steadily reminded us about the impact of poverty on our bodies, minds and communities. Social workers, too. Now we have commentary from a chief of police for an Ontario community that is part of a pilot policy project designed to guard citizens against poverty. Chief Hagerty’s work week in Lindsay (population 20,354 in 2011) no doubt involves more than a few metrics related to general community welfare. His officers are called to all manner of things from petty thefts to serious domestic violence. They also see something of the effects of substance abuse and mental health difficulties on the community. With such a picture in front of him it isn’t really surprising that Chief Hagerty has positive, constructive words for something that could increase the stability and wellbeing of the place he has responsibility for.
Where has this crew been all these austere years? Dozens of Canadian academic economists and experts sign an open letter in support of Ontario plan to increase minimum wage to fifteen dollars per hour in 2019.